American government researchers said that obesity is quickly overtaking smoking as the country's number one killer. In fact, obesity is becoming such a problem that many experts now say it is compromising all the benefits of recent improvements in health care and medical breakthroughs.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) smoking in 2000 was the biggest cause of death - 435,000 people died. 18.1% of everyone who died in that year died of a smoking related disease.

Obesity (bad diet and no exercise) was the cause of 400,000 deaths.

129.6 Americans are overweight or obese. That is a staggering 64% of the population.

If obesity continues to rise, by the year 2020, 20% of all health care spending will be on obesity related diseases and conditions. This is according to the Rand Corporation.

The American Health and Human Services Secretary, Tommy Thompson said 'Americans need to understand that overweight and obesity are literally killing us. To know that poor eating habits and inactivity are on the verge of surpassing tobacco use as the leading cause of preventable death in America should motivate all Americans to take action to protect their health. We need to tackle America's weight issues as aggressively as we are addressing smoking and tobacco.'

You are obese when your BMI (Body Mass Index) is more than 30. One in three Americans is obese, says the CDC.

When your BMI goes over 30, your risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes increases dramatically.